black and white art

Loving the effect of a good piece of black and white abstract in any space. Whether your style be eclectic, modern, romantic or rustic it always pumps it up a notch.  Get inspired .... grab a brush and make one of your own!



banquette snapshot

We're working on a banquette area for a client's new home right now and I have fallen in love with this image.  The combination of the white tufting, rattan chair, gray farm table and punchy blue accents creates such a cozy little nook.  Perfect inspiration!



color inspiration: navy and white

A couple of our recent clients have expressed a lot of interest in a chic preppy look and their love of navy... and we definitely share their admiration for the deep blue color.  Navy has such a classic, sophisticated appeal and makes everything else around it pop.  I came across some photos of navy done oh-so-right and just had to share... 



style it up

So, after a space is relatively finished - furniture is in place, art, rugs and window treatments are selected - our job of styling begins.  For some, this can be a daunting task.  Here are a few tricks of the trade to help make polishing off a room a little easier.

Rule#1: Always have at least one living thing in each room (people and dogs don't count.)  It's fun to put something branchy and natural in an entry.  It brings the outside in and adds a little life to the room.

Rule #2: Layer objects on side tables to create a lived in look. One really graphic pattern mixed with whites and pastels creates interest.

Rule #3: Be aware of scale in your space.  Not every area needs something dramatic or large.  Just a small touch of love does the job.

Rule #4: Decorate using the functionality of your space as the inspiration.  An office should have books and magazines, a kitchen can display canisters of food and a nursery looks great using toys as decor.

Rule #5: Bookshelves... ok, here we go. The challenge is to make them look interesting and collected rather than cluttered and messy. The best way we have found to do this is by grouping objects together and limiting your color palette.  Below gold, white and blue is the color palette repeated on every shelf.

An example of a few "rules" together.  Live objects, using a limited green/yellow color palette, taking direction from functionality, layering objects and being aware of scale.


how to make a good bed

So it might seem like a no-brainer, but making a nice bed is essential to having a good-looking bedroom. We often get stuck in the same routine with the way we make our bed. Here are some fun ways you can dress up your own space with simple changes.

Easy breezy white pin-tuck West Elm Duvet and Euro's with a patterned throw at the bottom.

White bedding and quilt with graphic shams.

Very understated light grey quilt and shams, throw near feet and 12 x 21 patterned accent pillow. Stacking standards behind Euro's creates a nice backdrop for accent pillows.

A million textures of white and tons of throw pillows. I just want to dive in.

My personal favorite these days.... knit throw and pillows. Very relaxed and understated.

For the rich and famous...luxe silk pillows and duvet. 3 Euro's, 2 standards and 2 accent... and let's not forget the mohair throw.



guest blogger: cara from lilac & grey

When Ali and Ariana asked me if I wanted to do a guest post "swap" I was more then excited! I knew right away that I wanted to post something to tie together fashion and interiors. While searching the runway photos on style.com for a recent post I did, I noticed lots of mint greens, pinks, yellows, and tangerine. I also noticed that large floral prints are making a big splash. If I had to describe my personal style for fashion and interior design- I would say it would be a happy mix of modern and vintage.

To me, floral prints are very chic and lady-like; but in most cases, wearing floral prints could be very daring. I love how Ece Sukan, editor at large for Vogue Turkey mixed this flowy floral print dress {which looks like it could be vintage} with a very modern clutch.

When using floral prints in your home-especially if it is a chair or sofa- you need to be mindful to pair it with something modern like this bed above- otherwise you could risk it looking to "granny."

Mixing floral patterns could be extremely chic if done correctly. Be sure to keep the color scheme throughout, and keep the wall color neutral.

If you really want to be bold, opt for a floral wall-covering or mural. This works best in bathrooms or for one wall in a bedroom.

Thank you Ali and Ariana for giving me the opportunity to guest post here at The Elegant Abode!

{Cara Gardner is a New Jersey based Real Estate and Lifestyle Consultant. When she is not with clients she can be found on her blog Lilac and Grey sharing inspirational ideas about interior design, fashion and behind the scenes info about real estate.}

{photo 1 via Lee Oliveira | photo 2 and 3 via Elle Decor | photo 4 via Interiorly}


color splash

There's a lot of amazing colors in here that work well together because they're paired down with neutrals.  
Side note: I love that console!



etsy find: sarah & bendrix

While looking for artwork for our nursery, I came across Sarah & Bendrix on Etsy and had to share!  Every piece is handmade with little cutouts of hearts or stars in various colors.  You have the option to personalize them for your wedding, baby or other important dates/people in your life.  Absolutely adorable!

This one is made with cutouts from the pages of an old book... I love it.



paris house tour

I've fallen madly in love with this home in Paris belonging to designer for Sia, Signe Nordli Becker.  The neutral colors mixed with various wood tones is perfection.  Each room is just layered with different materials and textures.  She's also brought a little bit of life to each space with live plants.  The end result is a subtle mix of rustic and glam that makes my heart swoon!



happy weekend

First weekend in a long time with no travel, house work or other major plans!  Enjoying being a bit of a couch potato today (and it seems this adorable dog is, too).  Hope you're all enjoying your weekend as well!



picture gallery

We get so many requests from friends and clients for picture galleries. Picture walls are great because they work in different style homes and can be done in a relatively budget friendly way. People find them very daunting to start, but we have found some tricks of the trade to help make the process a bit more approachable.

Same frame size and shape with black and white photos. Very simple grid design. A good starter picture wall.

Mixing art and photos helps give this picture wall visual interest, yet the simple rectangular shape keeps it from looking too fussy. Overhead lighting gives it a bit of elegance in this casual, almost rustic space.

The soft palette and mixture of canvas and whimsical framed art dictate the playful shape of this picture wall.

So chic (and cheap)! Just pin up some black and white photos in the same size in a simple grid.

All white frames and a fun colorway make this picture wall work.

A picture wall with just mirrors creates a scuptural appeal.

Below they have mixed white, black and silver but kept the artwork and photos in black and white. So warm and welcoming in an entry.

The organic shape of this gallery leads me to believe that the homeowners add to it as their life unfolds. It feels so organized without being planned. My favorite are the maps with thumbtacks pinpointing their travels.

Click here for some additional gallery wall layouts.
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