Rattan Roundup

Happy Monday y’all! How was your weekend? Mine was full of wedding planning (including a delicious BBQ tasting…details to come!), outdoor drinks with friends & squeezing in a workout or two (which was beyond necessary after that bbq!).

Right now is the perfect time to get your sunroom and porch spruced up and looking sharp for summer. After all, Memorial Day is right around the corner! Depending on your price point and weather conditions, you’ve got quite a few material options when shopping for outdoor furniture: teak, bamboo, iron, rattan & more. Rattan gives a bit more of a garden/beachy look but I think when used properly, it can be a great option.

Here are a few of my favorite spaces with rattan:

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Rattan pieces are just perfect for outdoor spaces & screened in porches! I’ve helped you get started by pulling a few great pieces that are currently for sale…

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{chair // bar cart // chair // mirror // bench // sofa}

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:

Β 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?!

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?!

Home Decor Must Have for pet owners

Happy Monday y’all! How was everyone’s weekend?

The Northeast has been pounded with some snow the past few days (not the fun kind, the annoying kind) and I’m going stir crazy! One of the worst parts about the snowstorm is having to take the pup in & out. She’s a total diva and hates the cold but does like playing in (and eating) the snow.

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As a pet owner, I’m constantly aware of the impact she has on our home. Dogs come with smells, toys, blankets, etc. For me, it’s important to know that someone could walk into our home and not even know we have a dog. Here’s how I do it:

Stylish Storage

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Similar to kids toys, dog toys aren’t cute or aesthetically appealing. I keep all of Mela’s toys in a small woven basket, tucked away into the corner (easy to hide when company comes over). I also keep a basket in the hall closet with all of her necessities (extra bags, leashes, bandanas, etc). Cute baskets are so easy & inexpensive! A few I like are this, this and this.

Tip: I like to keep a blanket on each sofa that she sits on, to avoid getting a mess of dog hair all over. She like them & knows those are her spots.

Candles

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As pet owners, we often become unaware that our beloved 4 legged friend has a certain scent to others. Let’s all get a quick wake up call, do a favor to our guests and stock up on some good smelling candles. A few favorites include this, these and this.

Clean Often

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This isn’t fun, but it’s needed. Part of the territory with pets is that you’ve got to clean often. I sweep and/or vacuum pretty much every day. For those of us with shedding dogs, it’s a necessary evil! Spend 10 minutes a day and I promise you’ll notice a difference. This vacuum is one I recommend!

What are you favorite tips & tricks to keep your dog friendly home looking sharp?!

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Get Your Home “Guest Ready”

We’ve all been there…you get a call in the middle of the day from your old neighbor/relative/long lost friend. They’re in the area and want to stop by inΒ  15 minutes. You’re super excited to see them yet horrified that your place feels like a tornado came through…now what?!
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Step 1. Light Candles
Right away, light candles. They’ll get your home feeling warm & cozy and smelling amazing while you complete steps 2-5.

Hint: I always keep scented candles in the living room, bedrooms, bathrooms & kitchen!

Step 2. Tidy Up Main Spaces
The last thing you want is a guest walking into your home & seeing yesterday’s undies on the floor. #awkward…Picking up all of your random sh*t off of the living room floor, sofas/chairs/beds, and main countertops will create a visually clean space. Even if you only have 5 minutes, grab a basket to toss all of the stuff in, throw it in your closet & deal with it later. Clutter = messy = gross.

Hint: When in doubt, stack it! Have a stash of old mags or some new books? Stack them neatly & put a small bowl with a candle or cute decorative piece on top…wa la!

Step 3. Clean Surfaces
This one is important. Nothing gives away a dirty space more than leftovers crusted onto the counter. Quickly wipe down the coffee/end tables, kitchen counter & guest bathroom vanity. Then grab some windex & hit the main mirrors. Instant sparkle!

Hint:Β Wipe out the sink & keep it dry (a trick the maid always does!)

Step 4. Take Out The Trash
A no brainer, yet often overlooked. This legit takes under 1 minute: empty the bathroom trash into the kitchen trash. Wrap it up & toss it outside. Done!

Hint: Keep a scented dryer sheet between the trash bag & the can to keep it smelling fresh.

Step 5. Put Your Hostess Hat On
If all else fails or you’re crammed for time, light the candles & skip to step 5.
Grab a tray, some cute cocktail napkins (like these) and lay out some snacks. Easy ones to keep on hand are assorted nuts, pre-cut cheese & crackers, olives, grapes & chocolates.

Hint: Set out a fresh pitcher of water…or even better, a bottle of rose!

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So there you have it, my easy way to prepare your home for guests. Focus for 10 minutes and they’ll never know you weren’t ready for them. Oh, and don’t forget to put on some tunes & smile…after all, they came over to see you, not your home!

What’s your best quick clean up tip?!

Blue, White & Gray Sunroom

Ahh, the thought of sunnier days. Given that it’s pretty cold & dreary here in Boston, designing a sunroom has me dreaming of warmer days. I’m working with some newlyweds who are moving into their first home. We’ve already knocked down walls, demolished old bathrooms/cabinetry, re-wired for new lighting, and painted the entire home. The major reno stages are over and now we’re planning room layouts, purchasing furniture, eyeing decor, etc. This week starts install and I can’t wait to see the first pieces come in!

When envisioning a sunroom, this is exactly what I was picturing in my head:

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This couple has the exact same amount of oversized windows & natural light. We’re sticking to the same color scheme throughout the house- ivory/cream, blues, natural wood, gray. It’s a monochromatic classic with a touch of rustic.

Here’s the sunroom game plan:

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{Sofa // Rug // Pouf // Butterfly chairs // Side table // Candles // Solid & Striped pillow}

I really wanted to keep it neutral but bring in pops of color with blue accessories and plants/greenery. It’s more of a rectangle shape so opposing the sofa will be a big buffet/bar cabinet, with the tv mounted over. I think they’re going to enjoy spending time in this room, watching football games, and hosting family & friends.

Thoughts?!

Fall Blanket Roundup

Happy “official” first day of fall, y’all!

So if you follow me on snap (alexisf19) or Instagram (southendstyle) you probably noticed the new plaid blanket that was peeking out behind my coffee table sunflowers. I picked up another one for my desk chair & a few more fall accessories last weekend at HG. Needless to say, it’s definitely feeling like fall around here!

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If you’re like me and you can’t get fall off the brain, I’ve got you covered. I rounded up my 7 current favorite fall blankets. Yes, most of them are neutral. Yes, most of them are plaid. But they’re all versatile in use (throw over the arm of a sofa, lay on the end of the bed, toss over the back of a chair) and they’re all great fall gift ideas also! If you need a housewarming, birthday or dinner party gift idea, I would truly recommend any of these. Note: I gave various price points for those of us wanting to splurge or save!

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And while we’re on the topic of fall plaid blankets, we can’t forget the need for a blanket SCARF! This one is only $15 and comes in 13 colors. I’m obsessed!!!

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Have you purchased a fall blanket yet?! Who else wants this scarf!?

 

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