Meditation Must

It's been a hectic time for me lately, so needless to say I've taken a bit of a blog break :((  With unexpected trips, unexpected family events and unexpected illness (sigh...) I just wasn't able to muster up the extra time and extra creative juices I needed to write. Not to bring you all down with me because I'm on the upswing now! So yay!! And thank goodness!!! But I just wanted to explain so you know I didn't just drop off the face of the earth and leave you hanging for your highly anticipated design advice ;)

Now that I'm back and feeling so much better, I wanted to share some important thoughts as those thoughts (turned into action) have helped me thru the crazy times (recent ones especially) and helped me keep my sanity. Truly, what Im about to share has been a saving grace for me and many of my clients.

Since way before I started this blog, way before we started this journey together discussing methods for beautifying and organizing our spaces, I've known just how important the 'calm factor' is in that equation. It's basically the secret ingredient of design that takes our spaces to the next level. And as a result, it takes us to the next level in our lives.  Forgive me if I'm getting a bit esoteric here...I don't mean to. But I do want to stress just how important this is. What exactly is 'this', you ask? Well, 'this'  (pause for the build up) a meditation space!

You don't need to be spiritual or religious or whatever your preconceived notions might tell you, to have a meditation space. Meditation isn't really about that. You just need to be someone who wants to go the extra mile to give back to yourself.  And let's not kid ourselves....we all deserve that! We know meditation is proven to reduce stress and help us focus better...we should all be creating meditation spaces and using them regularly for that alone!

To create your space, all you need to do is designate a spot in your home (hopefully away from high traffic areas) where you can take some time to calm yourself, breathe, maybe even reflect on the day or the moment. This can be just a corner in your house with a comfortable chair or floor pillow...or in front of the fireplace. Or if you want to go all out you can devote an entire room to your meditation. I think it helps if you keep the color palette calm too, which equates to muted, washed out tones. We want our minds to relax and brighter colors tend to have the opposite effect.  Also I think it helps of you create an altar-like spot where you can focus on whatever is meaningful to you...candles, flowers, family pics or even a religious icon...just a special area where you allow yourself to decompress, breathe and meditate for just a few minutes a day.  That's it! Simple, easy-peasy and huge benefits!

I promise you if you do this and use this space you will only be helping yourself become healthier and ultimately happier. And you will be adding an important place in your home that will bring you calm and beauty for years to come. Your first mantra to meditate with...'I deserve this!'
Happy Meditating!

Sometimes More is More

People are always amazed when they come to my home and see all of my 'things' furniture, decorative accents and found objects that I've gathered over time...and how I've managed to put so much in my space and yet not make it feel cluttered or messy or (forgive me Grandma) 'old lady like'. You get what I'm saying , right??? It's hard to have a lot and showcase your treasures without those treasures starting to look like there's just way too much happening. Or worse yet, like your home is starting to look like a junk store. But I'm here to tell you (da-da-da-dahhhh!!! That's horns blowing ;)) that if done right, more can be just that...more. And more can be fun and exciting and quite lovely to have and enjoy in your home. Andhonestly, when done right, more is just a great way to enjoy all those lovely finds you have and help personalize your space better than ever!

Here's my thoughts (a.k.a. tips) on how to make more work and look it's best in your design...

Tip #1
Shop for Collections...
I happen to be drawn to certain things when I'm shopping, like old umbrellas with great handles... or aged, blackened mirrors... or tattered books that have been read over and over so much that their bindings are coming unhinged... and of course, my vintage painting collection of florals, landscapes and seascapes, all standing the test of time in their muted, soothing hues.  These are the 'things' that make me smile and give me my happy fix. So shop for your happy fix and buy to create collections over time. This allows you to create interesting statements in your home and make impact with your happy fixes

Tip #2
Group like kinds together...
Whatever your 'fix' keep those collections together. Do not spread them out or let them dribble around your home. No dribbling allowed!!! Remember, there's strength in numbers...always!  The impact will me more significant, your finds will now be a collection and more exciting for you and your guests to view and enjoy.  And of course more personality to give to your space that will set it apart from your friends

Consider neutral backdrops...
The more your back drops are neutral, the less your accents have to compete with them. Always remember your home is like your wardrobe. Would you wear a patterned dress with a different patterned sweater and jacket and then layer that with a series of necklaces in different types of metal or gemstones...I certainly hope not. You would look like a hot mess and likely give a headache to anyone who had to witness that. Same goes for your home. Let your accents compliment your backdrops, not compete with them and the best way to do that is to keep those backdrops calm and often neutral. Bonus tip: neutral doesn't necessarily mean colorless, just calm and soothing. There are neutrals in every color on the color wheel.

Break up collections with larger statements...
When displaying a collection, especially when that collection's shown on a larger surface area like a coffee table, mantle or dresser, it's vital to break it up and bring some calm to your grouping by adding larger statement pieces to help break up the potential clutter effect. Most people react the same way to seeing lots of little's too much for our eyes to handle. So we need to calm our eyes by calming how we display our things. This will also help to set your collection apart and let it stand on its own, if you will. The balance of the large statement piece(s) and small collections will create collection harmony in your space and their contrast of scale will allow them both to showcase beautifully without competing with one another.

Soulful Connections

Soulful Connections… we all have them…they’re those special little (sometimes big) treasures we instantly fall in love with and just as instantly know they have to be a part of our lives.  They’re special jewels we either wear on our bodies or put out in our personal spaces.  They’re those things that make us smile when we look at them or make us walk just a little taller when we wear them.  You know what I’m talking about right??!!!  Like when you’re out antiquing (one of my absolute favorite pastimes!!!) and happen across that locked glass case showcasing that special, oh so beautiful piece of jewelry that you feel so connected with it almost makes you cry?!!!  This treasure is literally what I call a soulful connection!  Its something you will always love as much as you did when you first saw it.  Its something you truly felt a connection with…it spoke to you and you to it.  Do I sound crazy yet??!!  I don’t want to scare you away.  I do want you to realize that as easy as it is to have these connections with personal wares, its should be something you want to experience with your personal space treasures as well.  You can and should get in touch enough with yourself to be connected with those special details you put in your personal spaces….your bedroom, family room, even kitchen and bath.  For me, this is my vintage stone altar-piece beside my bed that holds an antique Buddha head and shells lovingly gathered on my Puerto Rico trips.  And its my collections of mini glass domes holding a found hummingbird nest, vintage shell and antique doll hands. And its my antique pine furniture collection I started over 25 years ago, each piece with me thru raising my 4 kids…they stories these pieces could tell!  Ha!!!  Point is these things have such meaning and as a result my personal space has the energy that reflects that. Our homes matter and everything we choose to put in them should matter just as much.

Heart Filled Bliss

Love is in the air...I can feel it. I'm a sucker for all holidays but there's something about Valentines Day that gets me giddy. Yay!!! (That's me super excited!)  Maybe the fact that I'm a hopeless romantic has something to do with it...I can absolutely lose myself in the clouds when I'm in love just like the next person. And it doesn't take Valentine's Day to recognize that, though it does accentuate it ;))  ❤️

But who doesn't smile at the thought of Cupid striking you with his arrow? And hello??!!! That arrow doesn't only have to be for a partner. It can be meant for other significant loves in our life too, like our family members, besties or our precious pets (aka, more family).  Valentine's Day is a great time to show a little extra amore to everyone around you.  That's right...that's amore! And what better day to recognize that love can be found in the most unexpected places.  Take a peek in the air, in nature or on the ground. I guarantee you can find something that reminds you of what it's all about. ❤️

This Valentine's, take a moment to reflect on your 'lovelies' with more thoughtful and especially personal goodies like... hand made cards just like the ones my dad used to help me make for my classmates. I had the best cards in the whole class...I love you Dad! Or instead of buying a heart filled with chocolates, bake some yummy and super cute chocolate cookies for all your lovelies to enjoy. And if you're really feeling the love, leave your written message somewhere where it can be seen all the time as a reminder of your hearts deepest thoughts like on the wall or even the ceiling. How exciting is that??!!! Whatever you do, just take a moment to go above and beyond to express your heart filled bliss.  It's one day in the year devoted to love... what can be better than that! ❤️

Click on the food to get the recepies! Enjoy! 

All That Glitters Is Golden

Loving the oversized ornate mercury glass hurricane! 

Loving the oversized ornate mercury glass hurricane! 

Sitting here wrapped up in front of a roaring fire, surrounded by glowing candles while the rain comes down outside I can't help but be reminded of how much I love seasons. Yes, I know, I know...being a Bay Area California girl I can't really say I know extreme seasons (like blistering sun to icey cold snow). But I do know that I love the change in the air and what that brings us no matter where we live...a change of scenery and color which ultimately bring with it inspiration. And that's what it's all about people!  That inspiration that we can translate into our space and build a whole new look from and at the very least, add a little pop to the look we have.  

The inspiration I'm super excited about this season comes from that glisten of the rain and snow. It's that little sparkle that glimmers when the light hits just a certain way.  I mean what girl doesn't like a little shimmer and shine in her life whether it's in the accessories she wears or the ones she puts in her house. For my space this winter season, I'm channeling the inspiration of glimmer and glamour thru hints of earthy sparkle, the twinkle of aged glass and the glitter of shimmering artwork. 

There's strength in numbers when grouping gemstones. Shown counter clockwise is pyrite, amethyst and angel quartz. Come grab your grouping at Filthy Gorgeous. 

There's strength in numbers when grouping gemstones. Shown counter clockwise is pyrite, amethyst and angel quartz. Come grab your grouping at Filthy Gorgeous. 

I am all about sparkly gem stones right now like amethyst, pyrite and angel quartz.  I'm loving the look of these stones, how no two are exactly alike, how they shine when the light hits them, how they connect us with the earth, bringing nature into our homes and especially how they bring calm energy to our  spaces. Lord knows, we all could use some calming!!!  What more could you ask for in a beautiful decorative element??!!! Enough said!

Another way I love to add a little shimmer in my space is with mercury glass votive holders. The candle glow dances thru the rubbed/aged glass and adds just that perfect twinkle to any space.  And like we already know, candles calm and soothe us so the benefits are double-y good! 

Artwork by Beverly Fuller featuring chunky glitter... fabulous! And yes, also available at Filthy Gorgeous. 

Artwork by Beverly Fuller featuring chunky glitter... fabulous! And yes, also available at Filthy Gorgeous. 

And I'm super excited about one of the latest trends in art...glitter paintings.  Some of my favorites are abstract pieces from Beverly Fuller showing subdued hues of blues, greens, golds, silvers and creams highlighted by specs of glitter.  I would swear she's inspired by the seasons as her artwork reminds me of ethereal landscapes.  Such a great way to get some year round sparkle in your space in a more engaging and unexpected way. 

So what have we learned??? Be inspired by the season which, lucky for us right now, happens to be the glisten and glow of winter.  However you choose to let your inner shimmer shine, just do it!  Don't be intimidated or think you can't add a little sparkle in your space.  I'm here to tell you that every space no matter what your aesthetic, can use a pop of happy.  Just embrace it and let your inner glimmer flag fly! 

Take Charge and Beautify

Happy January, 2017!  If we’re at all alike (and I'm sure we are) you have been racking your brains over how to make yourself better…mostly in a physical sense…but none the less, better. It's just what we all do as we open that new calendar, right??!!!  And who doesn’t want to be a better version of you?  I know I do!  So hence, I sit here writing with intensely sore calves as I started running again and have run myself right out of running for a good few days ;(  It's been 4 weeks since I last exercised!  Not sure why I thought stopping for the holidays made any sort of sense...a mistake I won't likely make again as I don't think my 46 year old body could handle it!!!

But back to our new and improved selves…with those resolutions to get physically fit, we tend to forget that we need to be mentally and emotionally better as well.  And of course for some of us that means a trip to the doctor or holistic specialist to renew a prescription or me, I’m not judging as I’ll be running to the pharmacy later :) But there’s also an additional way achieve better mental welfare.  I’m talking about maintaining a well-designed personal space. Design Therapy 101! Yes!! I said it…a healthy you isn’t just about what you eat and how you exercise but how your personal space (your home) feels and looks.  A more calm space = a more calm you.  A more comfortable space = a more comfortable you.  A more pretty, organized space = a more happy, orderly you.  These are all important things people!!!  It's truly the basis for why I do what I do. The sad truth is that most of us don’t realize just how significant it is.  But that’s why I’m here…to remind you of these vital facts!  

So with January halfway thru, take a few moments to tend to your space.  For some of you that might be rearranging the living room, for others, painting the family room or reorganizing the closets.  And for some, it might be as simple as cleaning the house ;) Whatever the plan, just do it because taking the time to beautify your space will only pay off in the long run with a more healthy version of you.  Remember that your home is your retreat.  Its your respite away from the insanity. So take charge and beautify! 

And for those of you who don't feel confident enough to take on a larger design task just yet, start with something smaller. I dare you to go and do one of these simple things in your space and see just how positively you're affected...

Here's to Design Therapy 101!  Looking forward to next time and sharing one of my new fav design trends for 2017!