How I chose my “getting ready” wedding venue

When I think of my dream wedding, a few key pieces come to mind: a gorgeous dress, the look in my husband’s eyes, being surrounded by family & friends, and eating, drinking & having fun! Then, when I dive deeper, I think about how I want to feel on my wedding day – excited, nervous, calm, pampered, special, etc. SO many emotions, right?! Since a LOT of excitement comes leading up to the wedding (days prior, getting ready, etc) it was absolutely critical for me to have the perfect place to get ready in. After all, I’ll be there with my bridesmaids, my mom, my grandma, the photographer, videographer, hair & makeup…it takes a village people! haha.

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In all seriousness, I looked long and hard for a location that would be perfect for (a) Terry & I to spend our wedding night and (b) a venue for me & my girls to get ready in.

So…what was the criteria?! I came up with 3 things that were important to me…

It has space

This was HUGE for me! The thought of being cramped on my wedding day immediately stresses me out. With 5 bridesmaids, 3+ family members & a handful of vendors, having an open space with plentiful counterspace is absolutely necessary. We’ll be there for at least 5 hours on Saturday and need the space for hair & makeup stations, a light lunch spread, a champagne bar (obvi!) & of course, plenty of closet space for our dresses!

It feels swanky yet sophisticated

Let’s be honest, when else in your life can you justify splurging on a super nice hotel room for a weekend? (Okay, maybe the honeymoon too…) Since our wedding is out of town, renting a place was our only option. Given that I only plan on getting married once in my life, I want to get ready in a place that is luxurious and chic, yet sophisticated and classy. Something that appeals to both my grandma and my bridesmaids. Something that makes people say “wow” and that makes the photographers swoon. Think of all the pictures that will be taken here!

It feel special

In addition to the aesthetic feel (mentioned above), feeling “special” to me means a place that has amazing customer service, that understands the importance of your wedding day, that will go above & beyond to assure that everything goes as smoothly as possible with minimal stress & worry. Keeping calm on your wedding day is e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

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When I found the Pavilion Grand Hotel, I knew I found the right spot. From my first interaction with the managers to our hotel tour, they made me feel right at home. They understand the excitement & anticipation that comes with your wedding day and they have all the bells & whistles to guarantee that your entire weekend goes smoothly. From valet parking to an on-premise salon to an in-house bistro, they’ve got it all. The space. The swank. The special feel I’ve been dreaming of.

Let the countdown begin! Less than 3 months til the big day. Be sure to stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing many Instagram posts & a follow up post of my experience.

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Thank you to The Pavilion Grand for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are my own.

5 Stylish Home Organization Spaces

I feel that when I’m totally overwhelmed/stressed out/anxious in life (currently: 9 out of 10), one of the things that helps me most is to get (and stay!) organized. Now, y’all know I’m a huge fan of to-do lists and making the bed each morning but there are some bigger, more effective ways to stay organized in your home, while keeping things stylish. Let’s be honest, not everyone has the time, money or patience to spend hours at The Container Store buying organization pieces. Also, who wants their home to look like Martha Stewart feverishly took over each room? Ain’t nobody got time for this:

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{Sorry, Martha}

I find that there are 5 main areas in the home that not only get the messiest quickest, but cause the most added stress when they’re a clusterf**k. Let’s explore…

  1. The Pantry

Ahh, who doesn’t love an organized pantry? I hope to have a walk-in pantry one day and I know that I’ll be that annoying person with labeled jars and baskets. But, if you cook often, this type of organization is a lifesaver! Minimal waste, no spoiled food & easy access to all. This is an easy rainy day project – do it!

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{pantry via}

2. Kitchen Countertops

Lucky for me, I grew up in a home where the kitchen was always clean and that stuck with me. I prefer a minimalist kitchen, with just a few decor pieces on the counters. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing 10 appliances on the counter with a ton of knick knacks. I’m too OCD for that!

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3. Bathroom Closet

You’ve got guest towels, sheets, toiletries, hair dryers, curlers, etc. On top that, if you’re like me, your guest bathroom and master bathroom are the same thing so you’ve got a lot of stuff in a little space. Nobody likes a messy bathroom or bathroom closet. It’s gross. Spend an hour, take everything out, and re-organized it. Easy peasy!

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4. Mudroom/Laundry room

Let’s get real. Nobody likes doing laundry. It’s even more annoying when there are piles everywhere. This clean, calm space even makes me want to do laundry….a little bit.

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{mudroom via}

5. Home Office

Whether you work from home or just have an office with a family computer, this space is one of the most important to stay organized. From taxes to documents to calendars, there is so much information stored here, why have it messy? The key to a home office is to have a system- once everything has a home, you can keep it organized pretty easily.

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What’s your best organization tip?!

5 Ways to Bring Spring into your Home

First, congratulations to all of you who completed the Boston Marathon yesterday! It was a beautiful 70 and sunny day – we watched for hours and were consistently inspired by all of the runners, especially those running with disabilities. Those who ran with guides, the push-rim division, those with prosthetic legs, etc…what unbelievable athletes!

Now…let’s talk decorating for Spring! With longer days & warmer temps in full effect, it’s time to make sure your home is ready as well. I’ve put together 5 simple, effective ways to bring Spring into your home:

 1. Swap out some white accessories…vases, pitchers, potters, books…white accessories are fresh, clean & perfect for sunnier days.

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2. Go for fresh flowers…cherry blossoms, tulips & hydrangeas all scream spring. I currently have pink tulips in the kitchen, yellow & white tulips in the den and hydrangeas in the master. You seriously can’t go wrong!

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3. Trade out the textiles…I have a ton of different blankets, pillow covers, etc that I keep on hand and like to swap out! For spring, think light colors, floral patterns & palms. Now’s a good put away the faux fur throws & the heavy fabrics.

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4. Get fruity…fruit is an inexpensive, colorful, practical way to bring spring into your kitchen& dining room. I like using lemons, limes, oranges, apples, etc & displaying them in either clear apothecary jars or an oversized bowl. Odds are, you’ll eat these yummy treats so simply replace when you head to the grocery store!

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5. Tidy up! Really this should be number one, as I believe it’s the most effective way to make any space look fresh. Spend a day purging your closets, junk drawers & everyday spaces. Trust me, there’s no better way to feel like you’re officially in a new season.

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What’s your best tip for bringing Spring into your home?!

Current Favorites: Anthro Home Sale

Wow! How is it already Thursday?! I’ve been out of town for work all week (also my reasoning for being MIA all week) so I’ve been spending the majority of today playing catch up. This post will be quick but I had to share- some awesome Anthropologie home favorites are currently 20% off. While I think some of their items are a bit overpriced (I’m looking at you, $2,000 rug)… I do think they’re mostly unique, exciting pieces that are worth a little splurge, especially when on sale!

Happy shopping…

Anthro

All pictures via Anthropologie website.

Rustic + Modern Dining Room e-design

Happy Friday y’all! This post is a little late and it’s going to be short, but I had to share this recent e-design I sent to a client! She & her husband are recent 1st time home owners (yay!) and they moved in with nothing more than a dining room table.

Because the dining are is open to the den, she wanted to keep things minimal & light. The home has a rustic feel but she wanted to incorporate a few modern pieces to keep it from looking too rustic (I agreed with her- mixing styles is always a good idea!). You’ll see the table below is pretty versatile. I threw in some upholstered chairs (ends will have arm chair versions of these), a modern (STUNNING) piece of art via Minted that I’m obsessed with, a more modern chandelier and some classics, such as the jute rug & boxwood topiary. The whole space has a light & airy vibe and is very welcoming to host her first dinner party.

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 {dining tablerug | chandelier | art | topiary | chair}

Do you like it?!

What are your thoughts on mixing & matching design styles?!

Entry Table Styled 5 Ways

Happy Monday folks! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was working a conference all day Saturday so it felt like a super short weekend, but I tried to get as much accomplished as I could on Sunday. If you saw my Instagram recently, or follow me on Snapchat (@alexisf19), you’ll notice that I’ve been doing some entry table styling!

Your entry table is so important because it’s usually the first thing people see when they walk into your home. It totally sets the tone for decor & the rest of your home. Given that this is our mail collection spot/key holder/boot drop off/last mirror on the way out the door area, it needs to have a design that is functional, versatile & pretty!

Due to the fact that we are on a very strict wedding budget, I wanted a refresh without spending any money! So I collected all of our table top items in the living room:

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and was left with a blank slate:

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{white lacquer table & gold mirror via CB2 | side note: after seeing this picture, I’m in a vigorous attempt to either remove or paint those hideous outlets!)

From this, I tried to get creative and create 5 different style options for our entry table. When styling a surface area (coffee table, nightstand, vignette, etc) it’s important to incorporate high/low items, a natural item (think plants & flowers) and practical items – for an entry table, this means a catch-all for keys, chapstick, etc. Also, when in doubt, think in groups of 3 (it’s most aesthetically appealing!)

Here are the 5 entry table decor options that I came up with:

Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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Option 4

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Option 5

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Before I reveal which I decided on (hint: it’s a combination of two), I want to know- which is your favorite?!

How to Decorate with Pastels

Happy Friday y’all!

With Spring in full force and Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to talk pastels. These soft, pretty colors are appealing, yet can often look very youthful and childish when poorly executed. Let’s be honest- nobody wants to walk into an adult living room and see baby pink splattered everywhere #amiright?!

So…I’ve broken this post down into 4 sections, where I’ll be giving you some examples of beautifully decorated spaces in pastel blue, green pink & yellow. Then I’ll help you pick some pieces to get started, if you’re interested in sprucing your space up in a mature, stylish way. Let’s get started…

Pastel Blue

I find blue to be one of the easiest colors to incorporate into a home- it’s versatile, well liked & there are so many wonderful shades. For example, you can mix pastel blue with white, cream, navy & green. It’s also the perfect compliment to any finish- gold, bronze, silver, etc. Blue can be used via textiles, decorative pieces (such as vases & ginger jars), books, lamps, etc. I’m also loving the blue in the kitchen trend!

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Pastel Green

Okay, so green is kind of a polarizing design color. I find that most of my clients either love it or hate it. If you’re the latter, I’m here to change your mind! Soft green, when used in doses, can be such a lovely pop of color. One of my favorite ways to use pastel (or “mint”) green is in all white kitchens! A green cake stand, pitcher, or serving bowl is subtle, yet effective. If you’re feeling bolder, try a green paint or wallpaper in a small space, such as a bathroom or laundry room.

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Pastel Pink

Ahh, pink. It’s a beautiful color, but please use it sparingly so that your home doesn’t look like a 5 year old girl’s room. Front doors painted light pink are a warm, welcoming, fun way to treat your exterior. It’s such a charming touch! Also, a pink chair or sofa, when used in conjunction with other mature, classic pieces, can be an excellent choice.

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Pastel Yellow

Textiles and flowers are the perfect way to introduce yellow- they’re subtle & with yellow, a little goes a long way. Pair yellow with whites, creams, grays & other neutrals to keep the space from looking too loud.

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{yellow bedding | green blanket | cake stand | blue-green pillow | pink teapot | pink vase}

What’s your take on using pastels in home design/decorating?!