Feel Happy in Your Home This Year

We are officially well into the new year – a time to “start over” and make changes to one’s lifestyle. There are a lot of different resolutions we make to better ourselves each year, but ultimately, we just want to be happy. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of tips and suggestions to find happiness at home. Try a couple or try them all, and see if they make a difference for you!

Embrace your style

You can have a professional interior designer redecorate your entire home, but that doesn’t mean you’ll  be happy with the new setup. Decorate each room to match your own personal style, rather than what you think is “in” this year. By selecting patterns, colors and styles you like, you’ll be able to create a space you’ll love.

Photo Credit: Hubbardton Forge

Photo Credit: Hubbardton Forge

Decorate to boost your mood

Fresh plants, uplifting colors, a picture frame filled with people you love. These are the things that can boost your mood and help you feel good at home. Flowers and green plants can energize a space, while certain colors like yellow can create a cheerful environment.


Take your time

If you’re unhappy with the way your home looks now, be patient. It takes time to design a home sweet home and it’s important not to rush when making big purchases. If you carefully consider each item before buying, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the results.

Spend 10-20 minutes picking up every day

No one likes chores (I certainly don’t), but what would you rather do: spend an entire Saturday cleaning or take a little time each day to pick up and prevent large messes? I would choose the latter, and I’m sure most of you would agree. Plus, a clean home can reduce stress rather than create more. Hint: Part of your plan may be to invest in shelves and other organizational items to make sure everything has a home.


Start with a few small projects before tackling a big one

A big house project can feel overwhelming, so start with smaller ones to get the ball rolling. Maybe you need to paint several rooms? Take a few steps at a time and just go to the local hardware store and pick out paint swatches to get you started. Before you know it, you will be done. Once you see how quickly that project went and you can check it off your list, you’re much more likely to follow through with each project and end the year feeling accomplished. You never know. You may become a DIYer like the sisters on Shanty-to-Chic!


How do you find happiness at home? Write a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

How to Design a Welcoming and Functional Entryway

When friends and family walk into your home, what will they see? A welcoming, stylish space or a muddy entryway cluttered with coats and shoes? A messy foyer can take away from your home’s overall interior design, and coming home to find your place disheveled can make you feel stressed, too, which is exactly the opposite of how one should feel in their home. entryway

To design an entryway that’s beautiful and clutter-free, first you have to get organized. Storage benches are perfect for entryways and can keep the area tidy without diminishing your home’s style. Even better, consider a storage bench or hall tree that comes equipped with a coat rack. This 2-in-1 solution is a smart way to store more without taking up precious space.

Once your entryway is organized and clear of the clutter, the next step is to determine how you will keep it clean. After all, entryways are often referred to as mudrooms for a reason. To start, place a rug next to the front door where family and guests can wipe off their shoes. Polypropylene rugs are great for high-traffic areas like the entryway, and they handle moisture and mud well. Another handy item is a boot tray, which you can use to hold boots or any other shoes you wear outdoors.


Your entryway is clean and organized – now is the time to add some style. To design a beautiful space, great lighting is essential. Consider a statement pendant or chandelier to wow guests as soon as they enter your home. Then add decorative pieces here and there, such as wall art or a mirror. A small desk to display your favorite keepsakes can also be a great way to design a memorable entryway.


With an organized system, a few items to keep your entryway clean and fabulous decor, you’ll fall in love with your home every time you walk through the front door.

By Wendy Weinert

How To Use Marsala, Pantone’s Color of the Year

After Pantone announced its 2015 Color of the Year, there has been grumblings. But I actually like Marsala and think, when used correctly, that it can really make an impact in a home. The color is versatile and can be used to complement various interior styles. If you like this year’s chosen color as well, here are some ideas for making Marsala work in your own space.


Create a vintage style

From modern to rustic, Marsala can be incorporated into many different decorating styles. One style people might not think to use Marsala with, however, is vintage. The Color of the Year goes well with cream, lace and weathered furniture. Consider adding a pop of Marsala in your antique-style living room with a chair, rug, poof, or even a chandelier.

Bellacor Item #817977, #1550159, #1539699

Bellacor Item #817977, #1550159, #1539699

Go glam

Marsala can be glamorous, too. Pair the color with other jewel-tone furniture and accessories, metallics and luxurious fabrics to get the look just right. Shades of gray provide a rich backdrop in which this color can really pop and come to life.

via TheDecorista

via TheDecorista

Update the dining room

On its site, Pantone writes, “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.” So what better place to use Marsala than in the dining room? Red hues are also said to be stimulating, which means decorating with this year’s Pantone color can encourage lively conversations and increase appetites.

Bellacor #668032

Bellacor #668032

Accent with Marsala

If Marsala is too rich a color for your taste, use the hue in more subtle ways. Smaller decor items and accessories allow you to enjoy the robust color without overwhelming your space. Search for a Marsala vase or switch out your accent pillows or your draperies with a new hue.

Courtesy of designshuffle.com/blog/

Courtesy of designshuffle.com/blog/

Paint the wall

No matter what interior style you like best, an easy way to update the look is to paint the walls Marsala. If you feel the color is too strong for all four walls, try painting just one instead.


By Wendy Weinert

How the Pantone Color of the Year Gets Chosen

Earlier this month, Pantone announced the Color of the Year to be Marala, which is described by Pantone as an earthy hue, similar to a bottle of wine. “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.” Not everyone is a big fan of this year’s choice. I, however, like the subdued color and find it very elegant. But what’s even more interesting to me than this year’s chosen color is how the company actually chooses it. Here’s a quick overview if you’re curious, too.


Before the Color of the Year is chosen, Pantone’s color experts search and consider hues being used all over the world, often in the fashion and entertainment industries. Once the search is over, Pantone hosts a secret two-day meeting, where these experts can suggest their favorite finds to be the winner. Choosing the Color of the Year is not as simple as picking the most flattering or stylish color, however. According to the executive director at Pantone, Leatrice Eiseman, the color “has to resonate around the world, to express in color what is taking place in the global zeitgeist.” In a press release, the company stated that the Color of the Year “has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”

via houzz.com

via houzz.com

After much debate, Pantone’s experts have to reach a final decision. In the press release, Leatrice Eiseman says, “While Pantone Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability.” The color is meant to be well-suited for both men and women, and is said to translate easily into various industries, such as interior design, beauty and fashion.

As you contemplate this color, here are some subtle items to help get you started into integrating it into your home:

Bellacor Number: 692548

Bellacor Number: 692548

red pillow

Bellacor Number: 902084

Bellacor Number: 1510401

Bellacor Number: 1510401


By Wendy Weinert


How to Simplify your Stuff Using Minimalist Interior Design

I’m not a hoarder, but like many people, I have a difficult time letting go of certain personal belongings. It might be a sentimental trinket, or a pair of shoes that look cute despite being uncomfortable to wear. Getting rid of stuff that does nothing but take up space, however, can actually feel freeing or cathartic afterward, and it will certainly help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by a disorganized home.


If you feel you have too much stuff in your home, start thinking like a minimalist. Here are three ways you can bring minimalism into the home and design a tidy, clutter-free space.

Eliminate the “junk drawer”

Junk drdrunk drawerawers are just an excuse to hold onto stuff you don’t need. Rather than having a drawer where you place items you don’t know what to do with, give each drawer and closet a purpose. Use organizers and bins to keep storage areas tidy. And before you place anything in a drawer, consider whether you’ll ever actually use the object. If the answer is “not often” or “never,” toss it. This not only give you more storage, but truly, you will discover that the less things you have the less things you have to have to take of the things you have.

Donate clothes after a shopping spree

Unless you’re in the process of building your wardrobe, a good rule of thumb in minimalism is to toss a clothing itemafter buying a new one. So, after a shopping spree, search for tops, pants or accessories that are old or barely worn and consider donating, selling or throwing them away. This will prevent your closet and dresser from becoming overcrowded with clothes you never wear. As an added benefit, it makes getting ready in the morning quicker!

Put meaningful items to good use

Oftentimes, the hardest stuff to get rid of are those items that have sentimental value. But you can still hold on to meaningful items without cluttering your space. For example, instead of keeping all of your kid’s drawings, sort through them and find your favorite for the fridge door. Instead of saving your grandmother’s china for special occasions, use the dishware for everyday meals. Another great idea is to turn your collection of travel souvenirs into decor.

By Wendy Weinert

Tips for buying the best blinds for your wallet and style

When you hear the words “window blinds,” you probably picture the cheap, unattractive window treatments that every apartment or home you’ve rented in the past has had. Window blinds, however, don’t have to be dull or cheap-looking. Here are some tips for decorating with window blinds that are good for both your wallet and your interior design.

Save the more expensive and stylish blinds for rooms lacking in visual appeal.

Photo credit: Dwellings by DeVore


There’s no need to have elaborate designs covering each one of your windows. In rooms that already have statement decor, use neutral or solid-colored window blinds to improve the overall look. This also allows your more decorative blinds (the ones that feature patterns or designs) to have more of an impact.

Consider materials other than plastic. 
Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Plastic blinds might be cheap, but they also often look cheap and tend to get damaged more easily. Try other materials for blinds instead, such as bamboo or faux wood. There are more durable and can lend a sophisticated appearance to your space.
Match blinds to your decorating style. 

Photo credit: City Farmhouse

Is your space casual and comfortable? Formal and elegant? Modern and chic? The blinds you choose can help you create the look you’re trying to achieve. If your space is fun and eclectic, try a bold color. A modern space would look great with an eye-catching design.
Try layering the look with a curtain. 
Photo credit: Involving Color

Photo credit: Involving Color

Instead of replacing your current window blinds, you could also try layering a curtain on top. In the winter months, this is a great way to prevent cold air from getting into your home. It also solves your dull window-treatment problems if you live in a rented space and can’t remove your blinds.Besides style and budget, other factors that you will want to consider when choosing blinds are sunlight and privacy. For example, if you want to let only partial sunlight into your home, choose blinds in a light color and fabric. Roll-up blinds allow you to achieve complete privacy when you need it.

By Wendy Weinert

4 ways to get your mudroom ready for winter

You might call it “the mudroom,” but that doesn’t mean you have to actually let your entryway get muddy. To prevent your mudroom from becoming a mess this winter (due to tracking in snow, water and dirt, and from having to hang bulky outdoor apparel), try these four winter clean-up solutions.

1. Place outdoor mats on both sides of the doors
Photo credit: Matthew Benson, This Old House

Photo credit: Matthew Benson, This Old House


When the temperature is below zero outside, your family will want to get inside as fast as possible. By having another doormat placed inside your home, people are able to clean off their shoes in a more cozy and warm space. Additionally, having two mats that guests and family members can use might reduce the amount of snow and mud tracked into your home.

2. Set a boot tray next to the door
Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest


Boot trays are designed to keep floors clean, and in addition to boots, they can also be used to hold wet umbrellas. If you place the boot tray right next to the front door, people will know to take their boots off immediately after walking inside your home.

3. Prevent clutter with a great storage system entryway storage

Snow and dirt aren’t the only things that can muck up your mudroom in the winter. You’ll also be keeping bulky coats, gloves, hats, scarves and snow pants in the mudroom. If you don’t already have storage solutions in place, consider what would be best with the amount of space you have. Hall tree benches, which are cubbies with hooks and storage boxes, are a great way to separate your family’s outdoor gear. Storage benches are also useful to have in mudrooms.

4. Keep only winter items in the mudroom 

If you’re working with limited mudroom space, save some room by removing your fall and spring jackets. Pack away any clothes or sporting equipment that you won’t use in the winter and place them in storage areas like the basement or attic.

This winter, keep your mudroom mud-free. With the right furniture and accessories, you can easily keep your entryway clean and organized.

By Wendy Weinert

Great decor gift ideas this holiday season

Every year I think I have plenty of time to buy Christmas gifts, and every year the holidays creep up on me. This leaves me frantically searching for the perfect present at the last minute. If you find yourself in a similar situation year after year, stop the cycle now and take advantage of these holiday gift ideas to get you inspired.

Gifts for him

Sail Model Defender, 1895: With this classic decor piece set up in his office or room, he can sail away to a more relaxed state any time of the day.

Home Stag Bookends: For the rustic man in your life, these stag bookends make the perfect present.

Black Skull and Crossbones Decanter: Help complete his home bar setup with this edgy decanter. The 12-inch bottle can hold 54 ounces of his favorite poison. Skull vase

Golf Club One-Light Table Lamp: Finally, a lamp he will actually get excited about. This lamp features three golf clubs and a ball for the base and a shade depicting a golf course. golf lamp

Gifts for her

Multi-Colored Swirl Perfume Bottle: Getting ready in the morning will feel more luxurious with these beautiful perfume bottles. They are stylish and functional to be the perfect gift. bottles

Desk Clock: Practical doesn’t mean boring. This sophisticated clock will add style to any desk it sits on.

Over-the-Door Jewelry Armoire with Mirror: She will love this stylish and useful gift. The mirrored armoire has three trays, 24 hooks, slots for up to 50 earrings and compression folds for up to 84 rings. mirror storage

Wire Jewelry Display: This unique, antique-inspired piece allows her to show off her jewelry in style. wire jewelry stand

Clear Tall Vase with Stem Holes: With stem holes to hold flowers, this vase is unlike any other. Anyone who owns this fun piece is sure to enjoy its one-of-a-kind design. vase with holes

By Wendy Weinert

Keep the cold out this winter with these energy-efficient curtain ideas

Photo credit: Divine Design

Photo credit: Divine Design

No one likes their home to feel cold, but having to pay high utility bills just to keep the space warm isn’t ideal either. Fortunately, there are cost-effective strategies you can use to keep energy costs down and your home cozy. These four curtain ideas, for example, are easy to implement and can save you money this winter.

Replace curtains with thermal and heavy materials Curtains- thermal

Thermal curtains are designed to prevent winter drafts from entering your home. They are typically made from heavier materials and some are tightly woven to keep out the cold air. Plus, thermal curtains come in many stylish options, so you don’t have to sacrifice a great interior design for warmth.

Hang drapes in open doorways

If you can’t keep all of the cold air out of your home, you can at least prevent drafts from entering certain spaces. If you have open doorways, use drapes to act as doors. This is also a great way to incorporate more style into your space.

Add layers
Photo credit: Plum Pretty Sugar

Photo credit: Plum Pretty Sugar


If one thick curtain isn’t going to do the trick, hang up blinds or shades first. Then add a layer of curtains on top for more protection.

When the sun is shining into your home, open your curtains

You don’t have to leave your curtains closed all winter long. During the day, allow the sun to shine into your home, which will help keep your rooms warm.

There are plenty of ways to keep your house warm in the winter, without having to turn up the heat even more. Learn additional ways to cut energy costs by reading these winterizing tips.

By Wendy Weinert

Easy Thanksgiving decor ideas for your family get-together

Now that October is over and the spooky Halloween decor has been put away, it’s time to start thinking about the next big holiday: Thanksgiving! Every holiday is enjoyable for different reasons, but I particularly love Thanksgiving because it’s a day dedicated to giving thanks, spending time with family and eating a lot of food.

To get ready for the big day, I’ve compiled some easy Thanksgiving decor ideas that you and your guests will love.

1. Decide on a theme

Are you going to throw a modern Thanksgiving? A rustic one? Deciding on a theme first will help you narrow your options when buying or making decor for your home.

2. Think beyond traditional fall colors 

While you certainly can decorate with oranges, reds and browns, you don’t have to. If you want to try something new this year, think outside the box when it comes to colors. Dark purple, metallics, white, light blue and navy could all be used to create a Thanksgiving display.

3. Incorporate faux pumpkins into your decorating scheme
Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens


Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween. Rather than carving real pumpkins though, you can use faux ones to create a sophisticated space. Consider using a white faux pumpkin as a flower vase or smaller pumpkin candle holders in your home.

4. Design a fun kid’s table
Photo credit: Frog Prince Paperie

Photo credit: Frog Prince Paperie


Leave the fancy, elegant decor for the big table on Thanksgiving day and try using kid-friendly decor for the children to enjoy. If you have kids of your own, this can be a great opportunity for them to get crafty and create fun table decor.

5. Display your food as decor

Thanksgiving day is all about the delicious food you’ll be serving, so it makes sense to arrange your food in a visually appealing way. Details matter, from the serving platters and bowls you choose to which foods you place next to each other.

6. Save elaborate centerpieces for the buffet table
Photo credit: Centsational Girl

Photo credit: Centsational Girl


Decorating the dining table is great, but you don’t want large decor getting in the way of conversation and eating. Instead, move your elaborate centerpieces and table decor to the buffet table, so guests can still admire your style.


By Wendy Weinert