How to Style a Buffet

Happy Monday Y’all! We had a fun filled weekend with some dear friends that came up to visit us from NYC. Sometimes a weekend full of laughter & good conversation with great friends is exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m feeling refreshed this morning!


So, while this post is titled “How to Style a Buffet”, it really should be called “how to style any surface” but that just didn’t sound as pretty. I get asked ALL the time for styling tips – people often find that their surfaces (buffet, tv console, side table, nightstand, mantle, dresser, etc) are either too crowded or too empty. It’s hard to find that balance of looking styled, yet natural.

A few key “rules” I like to follow when styling a surface:

Let one piece anchor the space

Stick to groupings of 3

Incorporate natural elements (plant or flowers)

Stack books to elevate / create mixed heights

Keep it cohesive with a color scheme

Here’s are two examples of how this can be done:

The above buffet is about 60″ long so I wanted to create two small spaces so that it didn’t feel overcrowded. The art (roughly 2/3 the length of the buffet – the perfect scale) anchors the space, while the two groupings create some visual interest. While everything is in the white/cream/grey family, I created interest by using various textures & materials (ceramic, marble, glass). The lamp provides more height and the flowers bring in a natural element. I’ve actually got another similar white vase that I swap out (it’s short and squatty) and I’ll fill both with greenery. So many options here!

The mantle above is a bit longer – about 70″ and so there was more surface space to cover. Ideally, I would like a larger mirror but this works for now. As you can see, I’ve stuck to the neutral pattern as well, but incorporated some brass, gold and wood to give it more of a pop. The tall, oversized eucalyptus really makes this space work for me. Again, you can see I used the marble + wood box to pair with the beads & candle (set of 3!) and the picture frames at varying heights keep it cohesive, yet interesting.

I hope this helps! If you follow these 5 rules for styling your surface, you can’t go wrong! If you have any questions or need help styling your own space, feel free to email me.

Have a great week!



Our New Living Space

When I announced that we were moving back in December, I put together a design board that gave a general outline of the style and feel I wanted our new place to have. Lucky for us, our home has some killer architectural character – 14’ ceilings, intricate molding, floor to ceiling windows with natural light & various built-ins. The bones are easy to work with but it did have some challenges as well, including a narrow/awkward living room layout, minimal storage and an overall small space of only 800 square feet.


With three of us (including our Frenchie, Mela) living here, I knew that we needed our main living space design to achieve 5 main goals:

  1. A bright, neutral color pallet
  2. Added storage, mainly hidden
  3. Comfortable seating for at least 4 (+ pup)
  4. A distinct dining area
  5. An open & spacious feel

Here’s how I did it:

A bright, neutral color pallet: The walls are a very light gray, the trim, molding, windows & ceiling are all bright white. I stuck to a cream/white/gray color scheme for all of the furniture to keep it visually bright and light. I incorporated some natural elements (wood coffee table, woven baskets, eucalyptus) to keep the space from feeling sterile. Also, I mixed various textures to warm up the room and keep it interesting – we’ve got microfiber, linen, silk, velvet, faux fur & more. Texture was key here.


Added storage: Behind the sofa and in the nook are woven baskets that store extra pillows, blankets and various dog toys. The coffee table also has two secret drawers that store all of our remotes, candles, chargers, etc. The buffet was the biggest game changer in this room – we have over 30 bottles of wine and a full bar in there. We also use this to store cute cocktail napkins, bar tools & cozies.

Design Tip: We keep the buffet top styled on every basis (less clutter), but we display a few items on a tray atop the bar when we have friends over.

living room1

Comfortable seating for 4: Our sofa is only 72” and though it’s not long enough for someone to sleep on (sorry out-of-town guests, you’ll have to get a hotel), it fits 2 comfortably and 2 more can sit on the chairs. If we are expecting more or need more seating, we can easily push back the sofa and add a few ghost chairs (or ottomans) for additional seating. We’ve had 4 people hanging out in the space multiple times and it’s always plenty of room.

Side note: Our space is too narrow to mount the television above the fireplace so we decided to place it on the wall across from the sofa. We rarely watch tv, but when we do it’s usually just us two and this is the most comfortable layout.

dining area2

A distinct dining area: If we didn’t have that pesky radiator on the back wall, I would have tried a bench/banquette against that wall and a rectangular table; however, I think that this 42” round tulip table works perfectly. I opted for ghost chairs for a few reasons – first, they take up minimal visual space so the area appears larger than it actually is. Can you imagine if there were four bulky chairs there? Second, they’re light weight and can be moved around easily when needed. Also, we can push the table against that back wall when hosting to open up the walkway between the kitchen & deck and use the table more as a serving piece.

living room2

An open & spacious feel: A huge mistake that people make (especially when renting/moving) is not using furniture that’s an appropriate scale for the space. Our sofa is only 72” but it’s the largest we could go for this room, without the hallway feeling crowded. We purchased two chairs and anchored it all with an oversized rug. By centering the furniture in front of the fireplace, not the room center, we were able to create a “sitting” area and a “bar” area. We played with a few layout options here and this one works the best for sure. Note that we also went with low profile furniture so that the bright window light wouldn’t be blocked.

Design tip: Ideally you want 36” for any walkway in your home to allow for a comfortable flow.

 So, there you have it, our little living room / dining room / bar space. Brownstones are always challenging to design because they’re long and narrow but I think that we did a great job maximizing our space, highlighting the features of the space and making a warm, inviting home. We love it here!

8 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Home Today

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When it comes to home decor, I always have an urge to mix things up and refresh my space. In the past, I’ve shared ways to shop your home before if you’re looking to update things but don’t want to spend any money. As Spring slowly approaches, I always find that now is a great time of year to update our space. Bring in some lighter tones, purchase a few new pieces and make our home feel as light & bright as possible. Here are 8 easy ways that you can refresh your home today.

1. Refresh your art. Framed, gallery style abstract art is having a huge moment right now and I love it. Art is one of those things that is 100% subjective so really, you should purchase whatever speaks to you. If you need a few suggestions, I love this garden canvas and this abstract piece. If purchasing a new piece isn’t in your budget, consider taking down a lot of your current art and switching things around. You will be surprised what a difference swapping pieces out can make!

2. While I’m typically one for fresh cut flowers, faux greenery is needed (Example: a bathroom with no windows). These boxwoods are an excellent styling prop for bookshelf styling, for the dining room table or atop a stack of books. If you have a vase that needs filler, try fresh eucalyptus (will dry nicely in place if you don’t touch it) or stems such as these dogwoods.

3. You’ve likely seen various types of decorative beads in pictures recently. I just LOVE them and think they’re such a versatile, beautiful way to decorate. I actually picked up the most gorgeous, light gray set in South Africa from a super chic boutique that I found in Cape Town (and they were under $10). My only regret is that I didn’t buy like 4 sets for gifts! Studio McGee has a great option on their website as do a lot of sellers on etsy. You can drape them over books, set them around a jewelry box or flow them out of a vase. Really the opportunities are endless.

4. Natural wood tones have been my wood choice for quite some time, especially for those of us living in small spaces. Nothing will make your home feel smaller than oversized, dark wood. I like the light/natural wood as a more mature, masculine alternative to white. Some examples are this bench, which would look great at the end of your bad, and this mirror, which I may have to snag for our entry way.

5. Add in some blue + white patterns, in the form of dishes, vases or planters. A more modern subtle to the ginger jar, a planter like this one would be a great way to update your space for Spring. This light blue pattern goes with pretty much any decorating style, which is why I always suggest them. They’re also great for sunrooms or outdoor spaces.

6. For a classic, modern touch to your home, try adding in some marble. One of my favorite material combinations is wood + marble, which just looks fabulous every time. An easy way to accomplish this is to display your wood cutting boards in your kitchen and then put a marble bowl in front. Or incorporate a bone inlay tray or mosaic bowl into the mix. I think this footed bowl may be the cutest thing ever. I purchased it myself and plan to set it by my wood bowl catch all (used for keys, chapstick, etc) alongside a marble vase I keep filled with fresh greenery.

7.  A tried and true favorite, and one I always recommend, is to swap out your pillows. Truthfully, blankets and linens fall in this category too – most textiles are seasonal.  Pastels are going to be huge this spring and pillows, like this lavender one, are a great way to display these hues. I am a huge fan of light blues, creams, greys & blush (just like my wedding pallet) in decor. It’s feminine yet a bit subtle.

8. One last way to refresh your space is to style with books. Coffee table books are the perfect gift for any occasion because your home can never have enough! Whether it’s decorating shelves, adding height to a vignette, stacking them on the coffee table, or displaying them on the nightstand, there is a way to use them! When I’m feeling bored with my space I always rearrange the books and it definitely gives a new feeling. I’m in search of 5-6 new ones for a styling project I’m working on. Favorites: Living with Pattern, Domino, Nate Berkus, The Nesting Place.

What’s your favorite way to refresh your home?!

An Alternative to the Bar Cart

Now don’t get me wrong – I love a good bar cart setup. In fact, I had one in my last apartment. They’re a practical, functional solution to a small space and they’re pretty perfect for apartment living when you don’t have an actual dining space. However, I also they’re they are incredibly overdone, too trendy and a bit too predictable. Here are a few  examples of bar setups that I really like that are not bar carts:


I love the masculine, rustic look of this bar cabinet


This DIY Ikea hack via Brittany Makes is so modern & functional!


Obsessed with this gorgeous laquer cabinet that Bree has styled so perfectly!


This organized & stylish bar cabinet is practical yet mature


Another masculine bar cabinet via Frontgate – love how sleek it is

So when I was looking for a solution for where to put all of our wine / booze / bar items, I quickly ruled out the bar cart. I decided to go with a bar cabinet. It’s kind of the bridge between bar cart and dining hutch. Think of a classic buffet like your grandma has, but with modern design & trendy decor. I had my eye on this piece (this one too) but it was a bit too pricey so I opted for this one. The piece is scheduled to be delivered next week and I’m on the hunt for a new abstract art piece to go above it. I can’t wait to have it in our home so I can finally empty these last few boxes of booze and style this piece. Stay tuned for some updated pictures to come!

What’s your preference – bar cart of bar cabinet?!

Winter Mantle 4 Ways

Happy Monday Y’all! I had a super productive weekend so I’m feeling very fresh and inspired this morning! I was able to sell a few pieces of leftover furniture to make way for our new buffet, set to arrive this week! For now, I want to chat mantles. One of the pieces that sold me on our new brownstone is the fireplace and oversized mantle – I just love it so much! But once I took all of the Christmas decorations down, it immediately felt so bare & empty! Now, y’all probably know that I’m a less-is-more type of gal and I crave simplicity, especially in home design. Here are 4 simple, tasteful, charming ways I’ve styled our mantle. Given that it’s winter, I stuck to neutrals – white, gold, gray – and some wood + greenery to help warm it up a bit. As you will see, I kept the eucalyptus in every option as we need the height (16′ ceilings) and I just love it!

Option 1:

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Option 2:

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Option 3:


Option 4:


Now that you’ve seen all four options, help me decide which one should stay.

10 Gorgeous Holiday Mantles

With Christmas only one week away, I wanted to share 10 of my favorite mantles. Whether you’re hosting Christmas day, throwing a holiday party, or simply enjoying the comfort of your own home, mantle decor is a fun way to switch things up. I’m constantly redecorating mine and adding new pieces. Hopefully this will inspire you:




Which is your favorite?!


Thanksgiving Tablescape Inspiration

Can y’all even believe that Thanksgiving is next week? Insane! Given all that we have going on right now (moving, new job for T, etc) we are pleased to be attending a Thanksgiving feast at our dear friends’ home in Newport, Rhode Island. Hopefully we will have a large dining room of our own in upcoming years and be able to host our own Thanksgiving day celebration for family & friends. So for my future reference, and for all of you wonderful host expecting a crowd, I’ve put together some tablescape inspiration for you:






So many pretty options to be inspired from! I’ve put together a mock table setting myself and hopefully it will inspire you even more! If I were hosting this year, here’s what my table would look a little something like:

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{napkins / chargers / plates / greenery / glasses / vase / napkin holders / place cards / runner / candle holders + candles}

Who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year? Is your table ready?!